Signature Beef and Mushroom Burger

Signature Mushroom Beef Burger

If you like mushrooms and burgers, read on. The Seasons 52 Restaurant and Mushroom Council have just introduced the Signature Beef and Mushroom Burger (Signature Burger), which is Angus beef blended with mushroom duxelle, butter lettuce, roasted tomatoes, house made pickles. This mouthwatering burger is new to their summer menu, and it’s made from 100% Angus beef and blended with mushroom duxelle (finely diced, sautéed mushrooms). I love finely chopping mushrooms so that they’re the consistency of ground meat, and then combining the two and using them together to create new recipes that are nutritious (this is also a great way to get your kids eating mushrooms). Mushrooms are so versatile and can be used in so many ways, while bringing flavor and nutrition your meals.  They’re naturally low in calories, fat-free and cholesterol-free and provide important nutrients like vitamin D, B vitamins, antioxidants and potassium. I took my two boys to Season 52 for the first time, and they LOVED it! We almost fought over this burger when we tasted it. Now the question is: How soon can we go back?

 

Mushrooms at California Pizza Kitchen

Did you know that mushrooms are only source of vitamin D in the produce aisle? Luckily, my 3 kids and I love mushrooms, and they are adventurous eaters. They are truly willing to try almost anything, especially with mushrooms. Last week we dined at  California Pizza Kitchen, and we were so thrilled to see the new menu items with mushrooms such as the Shaved Mushroom and Spinach California Flatbread with Cremini mushrooms (see photo below) with sautéed spinach, California olive oil with Romano and Parmesan cheese. Also, we loved the Gluten-Free Mushroom Pepperoni Sausage Pizza (see photo above) with Cremini mushrooms, rustic pepperoni, mushrooms, spicy Italian sausage, torn basil, Mozzarella and wild oregano. We could not taste the difference in the gluten-free pizza crust (there was not one piece leftover). If you’re a mushroom lover, they also have Mediterranean Spring Rolls and, of course, regular mushrooms pizza. Read on for some important reasons to eat more mushrooms…

Why to eat more mushrooms: numberswiki.com

1. Mushrooms are hearty and filling. Research suggests that increasing the intake of low-energy-density foods (meaning few calories given the volume of food), specifically mushrooms, in place of high-energy-density foods, like lean ground beef, can be an effective method for reducing daily energy and fat intake while still feeling full and satiated after a meal.

2. Mushrooms are the leading source of the essential antioxidant selenium in the produce aisle. Antioxidants, like selenium, protect body cells from damage that might lead to chronic diseases and help strengthen the immune system

3. Mushrooms are a good source of B vitamins. B vitamins include riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid, which help to provide energy by breaking down proteins, fats and carbohydrates. They also play an important role in the nervous system.

4. Mushroom contain potassium. Potassium is an important mineral that many people do not get enough of. It aids in the maintenance of normal fluid and mineral balance, which helps control blood pressure.

5. Like all fruits and vegetables, mushrooms are naturally gluten free. Mushrooms are low in calorie, low in fat, low in sodium and naturally gluten-free.

This post is sponsored by Mushroom Council, but all opinions are my own.

5 Amazing Quinoa Soup Recipes

It’s been so bitterly cold lately so I have been looking for some great new soup recipes to try (especially ones with quinoa). Here are 5 amazing quinoa soup recipes starting with my Kale and Sausage Quinoa Soup (pictured above). It is so hearty and makes a great one dish meal. My kids loved it too! Enjoy it as you start your new year off on the right foot!

Vegetarian Quinoa Chili via Recipes and Me 

Harvest Chicken Quinoa Soup via Iowa Girl Eats

Tomato Soup with Quinoa and Feta via Mountain Mama Cooks

Red Lentil Quinoa Curry Soup via Lindsay Loves Veggies

30 Mushroom Recipes

I am so excited to announce my winner of this month’s mushroom giveaway! Congrats to Kelley from Mountain Mama Cooks for her submitting her recipe for Bacon and Cream Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms. Be sure to check out all of the other contest entrants and the Mushrooms for Hope Pinterest Board for a collection of fabulous mushrooms recipes.

I love using mushrooms in my cooking, and you can always lighten up your family favorite recipes by using finely-chopped, umami-rich mushrooms for a portion of ground meat. Mushrooms and ground meat blend seamlessly to add an extra serving of vegetables to the plate by enhancing, extending or replacing the meat. Finely chopped mushrooms look similar and blend seamlessly with meat, so classics can be healthier without losing taste or satisfying texture. A great example of this is my Baked Spaghetti with Mushrooms, but there’s so many unique ways to use mushrooms in your cooking. Using more mushrooms reduces calories, fat and actually creates a healthier main dish (I actually think it tastes better too)! With the mushroom and meat blend, you don’t necessarily have to consume large quantities of meat to feel full and satiated, and your dish will also be more economical. Also, mushrooms bring important nutrients to your diet. See my blog post on 7 health benefits of mushrooms.

Check out the 30 mushroom recipes below!

Mushrooms are still available in their pink packaging for Breast Cancer awareness so add some of these recipes to your menu list! This post is sponsored by Mushroom Council, but all opinions are my own. I love mushrooms!

7 Health Benefits of Mushrooms

Mushrooms are nature’s hidden treasure because one handful of mushrooms delivers nutrition, value, taste and versatility. They’re fat-free, low-calorie, nutrient-dense, low in sodium, contain natural antioxidants, and have a savory flavor that enhances everyday dishes. Here are 7 health benefits of mushrooms:

 1. Weight Management/Satiety. Mushrooms are hearty and fulfilling. Increasing intake of low-energy density-foods (meaning few calories given the volume of food), specifically mushrooms, in place of high-energy-density foods, like lean ground beef, can be an effective method for reducing daily energy and fat intake while still feeling full and satiated after the meal. Research conducted at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests substituting mushrooms for lean ground beef in an entrée just once every week would save almost 20,000 calories or more than 5 pounds of body weight in one year.

 2. Source of Vitamin D. Few foods naturally contain vitamin D, but mushrooms are unique for being the only source in the produce aisle and one of the few non-fortified food sources. All mushrooms contain vitamin D, but growers also have the ability to increase D levels in mushrooms to a controlled amount by exposing them to ultraviolet light.

3. Every Day Versatility.Thanks to their versatility, low-calorie, nutrient-dense mushrooms can help people meet recommended dietary guidelines. Fresh mushrooms can be added to everyday dishes to provide an extra serving of vegetables and deliver important nutrients, including vitamin D, potassium, selenium, ergothionene and B vitamins.

4. Low in Sodium. Mushrooms are low in sodium, plus their umami counterbalances saltiness and allows for less salt to be used in a dish, without compromising flavor. “Tasting Success with Cutting Salt,” a collaborative report from the department of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health and the Culinary Institute of America, recognizes cooking with umami-rich ingredients, like mushrooms, as a way to boost flavor without adding salt.

5. Good Source of Antioxidants and Immunity. Mushrooms are a great source of the antioxidants selenium and ergothioneine which helps strengthen the immune system and protect body cells from damage that might lead to chronic diseases.

6.  High in B Vitamins Mushrooms also provide B vitamins, including riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid, which help to provide energy by breaking down proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

7. Cancer Prevention Scientists at City of Hope were some of the first to find a potential link between mushrooms and a decreased likelihood of tumor growth and development in cells and animals. The team’s research shows that women may benefit from a balanced diet, which includes about 3 to 5 ounces of mushrooms per day. Pink takes center stage in October as mushrooms are sold in pink packaging in honor of national breast cancer awareness month.

Also here’s some more mushrooms 101

  • To clean mushrooms, simply brush off any dirt with a damp paper towel or fingers. Before using, trim the end of the stem if it’s tough. Never soak mushrooms as they may absorb the moisture.
  • Mushrooms keep for up to a week in the refrigerator. To maximize shelf life, keep mushrooms in original packaging until ready to use. You can freeze sautéed mushrooms for up to one month.

I am partnered with the Mushroom Council, but this post was done independently to share my love for mushrooms and their health benefits. See Mushroom Council for more information about mushrooms and recipes.

 

Baked Spaghetti with Mushrooms and Giveaway

I am so lucky because my 3 kids love mushrooms! Really, they do! As most of  you know, I am always trying to be as healthy as possible, especially in cooking. Did you know on average, mushrooms have 90 percent fewer calories than a ground meat alternative? Finely chopped mushrooms look similar and blend so nicely with meat, so classics can be made healthier without losing taste or satisfying texture. This Baked Spaghetti with Mushrooms is a perfect example on how to simply substitute mushrooms for some of the meat in a traditional recipe. This reduces calories, fat and actually creates a healthier main dish (I actually think it tastes better too)! With the mushroom and meat blend, you don’t necessarily have to consume large quantities of meat to feel full and satiated, and your dish will also be more economical. Also, mushrooms bring important nutrients like vitamin D, potassium, B vitamins and antioxidants to the plate without increasing calories, fat and cholesterol. I am always reminded it’s October because the mushrooms in the produce aisle are in their adorable pink packaging. There is a huge reason for this… Read on (and continue reading for information on an awesome GIVEAWAY)  

  • Pink takes center stage in October as mushrooms will be sold in pink packaging in honor of National Breast Cancer awareness month recognizing the industry’s commitment to breast cancer research. Mushrooms have been studied (white buttons, in particular) by City of Hope scientists for their potential effects on breast cancer and sold in pink packaging during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
  • In total, the Mushroom Council has awarded more than $800,000 in grants for lab studies and pilot clinical trials to support this research. They will provide $50,000 to City of Hope’s research on breast cancer and mushrooms.

In honor of this amazing cause, I am hosting a giveaway for a $50 American Express Gift card and the cutest mushroom apron (see below) from Etsy. This post is sponsored by Mushroom Council, but all opinions are my own. To enter, just simply leave your favorite mushroom recipe or link to one of your favorite mushroom recipes in the comment below. The winner will be chosen randomly on Thursday October 17th at 8 A.M. For more chances to win, hop over to my friend’s Kristen at Dine & Dish and Jennifer at Savory Simple to check out their fabulous mushrooms creations. Thanks and good luck 🙂

Panko and Vegetable Stuffed Portobellos and Giveaway

I love creating recipes with fresh mushrooms, and this Panko and Vegetable Stuffed Portobello was a vegetarian main dish was a hit this weekend. Be sure to notice that between September 15th to November 15th, select retailers nationwide will sell mushrooms in pink containers in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Since 2002, the Mushroom Council has invested more than $750,000 in grants to City of Hope for research on mushrooms and cancer. This fall, the Council will provide an additional $50,000 to continue funding this important research. How cool is this packaging in support of City of Hope and Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

Great Health Benefits of Mushrooms

 

1. Mushrooms are low in sodium and calories, and they are fat and cholesterol free.

2. Mushrooms can be an effective substitute for meats thanks to their hearty and fulfilling nature.

3. Mushrooms are the only item in the produce aisle to provide vitamin D, and one of the few non-fortified food sources. Growers also have the ability to increase D levels by exposing mushrooms to ultraviolet light.

4. These friendly fungi provide critical nutrients like energizing B vitamins, potassium and powerful antioxidants, including ergothionene and selenium.

For chance to win the great giveaway above, follow the steps below. For each one, and let me know in the comments for a better chance to win:

1) Follow @MushroomChannel on Twitter

2) Check out and “like” the Mushroom Channel on Facebook

3) Answer the question: “How do you support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

4) RSVP to the Mom It Forward #gno twitter party and check out the giveaway at Mom at Forward

5) Join me for the Mushroom Council #gno twitter party October 4th, from 9-11 p.m EST.

6) Follow @alisonlewis on twitter and come see me on Facebook

Note: I was compensated for my participation in the Mushroom Channel Campaign